What food should lupus patients consume and avoid?
- Consume food with anti-inflammatory properties.
- Limit intake of saturated and trans fat.
- Get calcium and vitamin D rich foods.
- Set aside salt.
- Avoid alfalfa sprouts and garlic.
Experts have made it clear that there’s no established cure for lupus, thus, no exact diet plan as well. However, with the help of specific lupus advocates’ franchises in the Philippines, there are nutrition tips that patients can now go by as they battle with this illness. Some stating strictly of what should be avoided in order to support the treatment of lupus rather than its progress in the body and some to keep in check of the right nutrition one should take to keep the body healthy. Among of which include:
Consume foods with anti-inflammatory properties
Lupus itself is inflammatory, thus, it is ultimately important to consider foods that would not contribute to its progress. Basically, anti-inflammatory properties include antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. Wherein, the former is often present on fruits and vegetables while the latter nutrient is found in canola oil, fish, nuts, and olive oil – to name a few.
Limit intake of saturated and trans fats
In contrast to antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids that fight inflammation, saturated and trans fats, on the other hand, increase the level of cholesterol in the body and worsen the symptoms of lupus. Foods that belong to this category include commercially baked treats and goods, red meat, processed meat products, fried foods, and high-fat dairy products such as cheese, butter, whole milk, and ice cream.
Get calcium and vitamin D rich foods
It has been said that medicines issued to support the health of a lupus patient can increase the risk of osteoporosis – a disease that causes the bones to become weak and prone to damage. To prevent this, it is recommended to back your bone’s health up with foods that are rich in calcium and vitamin D. Among the options that can help out are:
- Low-fat cheese or yogurt
- 1-½% skim milk
- Soy milk
- Almond milk
- Lactose-free milk
- Juice that is fortified with vitamin D and calcium
- Dark green, leafy vegetables
Set aside salt
While it is true that salt is a constant ingredient in every meal possible, it may be time to avoid its presence on your diet plan. Excessive consumption of salt can increase your blood pressure, which could cause risks of heart disease and lupus, itself, can already put you at risk of heart disease.
To avoid compromising the goodness in your meals, you may opt for alternatives such as lemon, pepper, curry powder, herbs, and turmeric.
Specifically, avoid alfalfa sprouts and garlic
Among others, lupus patients tend to experience fatigue, kidney problems, muscle pain, and abnormal blood test results from consuming alfalfa sprouts. Surprisingly, the said food contains an amino acid that flares up the inflammation.
Garlic, on the other hand, contain ajoene, allicin, and thiosulfinates that can stimulate the immune system and trigger lupus symptoms.
Indeed, proper nutrition intake can help one’s health avoid the flares of lupus inflammation. However, it should also be noted that along with this list, a regular visit and consultation to the doctor will further support one’s battle against lupus to ultimately lead a healthy life.